I haven't posted many updates recently for a variety of reasons...
1) My schedule has left me less time for boardgaming (two kids in sports and other activities)
2) Since Christmas, I've been spending more time on PS2 games (Guitar Hero, Final Fantasy, etc)
3) I decided not to post all my game group sessions (although I will add some from time to time).
I'm really enjoying the time with my children. This spring I will be assistant coach for my daughter's soccer team and also for my son's little league baseball team. They grow up quickly and so this takes a lot of time. They also are really enjoying more boardgames than ever and we play as a family on a regular basis. Some new Christmas games that were hits with the kids were...
Zooreka - this is a Cranium game that lets players move around collecting cards to build habitats for their zoos. It is simple (and we added a few house rules to make it more interesting) but the kids really get into the theme and the game is very colorful and tactile.
Ice Cream - this is a light card game but again the theme is what attracts the kids (particularly Heather).
Zooloretto - sure it is a light game for Game of the Year but the kids are both able to play it and it has opportunities for theme to win. Also, tactile with a fun theme. (is there a trend...)
Hare and Tortoise - a classic german boardgame that uses a lot of math skills and really leverages "position" in a race game. My son enjoys it but he has trouble with the decisions (he is only 6) however he likes to roll the die on the Rabbit spaces. Heather, on the other hand, is quite skilled at calculating the amount of carrots to spend to optimize her moves and cross the finish line. A great game for math oriented children.
David and Goliath - a fun card game that I purchased primarily for when we get together with non-gamers that like trick taking games. It is light and has some unique twists that make it fun to play regardless of the cards you are dealt.
Race for the Galaxy - Currently my favorite new game from Christmas. I haven't taught Heather yet (although she is good at San Juan) but this game is really fun. I think it appeals to my Magic the Gathering desires for intricate card combinations and interactions. Race is a game in the vein of San Juan but with more varied cards and strategies. Brian Bankler has many articles on this game on his blog the Tao of Gaming.
Lord of the Rings Confrontation - I've had this game for some time and really enjoy it but my wife doesn't like the artwork and she won't play it with me often. However, Matthew has shown an interest in it and we have played several games now. He seems to be getting some of the strategies and I give him both variant cards but he lacks the strategic thinking to really elevate his game to the next level -- he is only 6!
I have busied myself playing on our new PS2 (yes, we are behind in video game technology) recently and haven't played as many boardgames. This week I played Guitar Hero I and II and finished both games on Medium difficulty. Now I'm trying Hard and it is HARD to complete songs (which is a good thing because it is fun to play even if you can't finish the song).
I'll try to post some more game reviews and strategies over the next few months.